Posts Tagged ‘Julian Gollop’

Phoenix Point is now crowdfunding: we spoke to Julian Gollop about standing out in a post-XCOM world

The original X-COM (UFO: Enemy Unknown), Julian Gollop tells me, “succeeded in spite of itself”. I asked him how he felt about the game now, twenty three years after its initial release, and particularly about the way it’s often placed on a pedestal. He didn’t expect it to be a success and certainly didn’t think he’d be making a game heavily based on its legacy almost a quarter of a century later.

Yet here we are. The crowdfunding campaign for Phoenix Point [official site], a sci-fi horror strategy game about an alien onslaught, has just begun. Gollop is back where many people feel he belongs, and this time round he seems extremely confident in his game’s design.

Read the rest of this entry »

Phoenix Point teases horrors, recruits X-COM composer

Phoenix Point [official site], as I explained in detail last year, is a very exciting proposition. It marks the return of Julian Gollop, creator of the original X-COM, to alien-themed strategic combat, but it’s far from a nostalgia project. With dynamic factions taking sides in the war, a strong horror element and procedural monstrosities, it sounds fascinating.

A new teaser trailer gives very little away, but does arrive alongside news that John Broomhall, composer of X-COM’s superbly creepy music, has joined the team as audio director and composer, and that Jonas ‘Talos Principle’ Kyratzes has joined the writing team.

Read the rest of this entry »

Get your ass to Mars – the original X-COM is free

Oh sure, it’s basically been pennies for years, but nothing motivates the merely curious like free-free-free. For that is the case for X-COM: UFO Defense aka UFO: Enemy Unknown, the 1994 alien-bothering strategy game that kicked off a series now made something of a household name by Firaxis’ remakes. Only until tomorrow, though. Read the rest of this entry »

Order: New Chaos Reborn Mode Reduces Randomisation

Julian Gollop might be returning to strategic and tactical extraterrestrial combat with Phoenix Point, but the designer of the original X-COM has already rebooted one of his creations from yesteryear. Chaos Reborn [official site], based on 1985’s Chaos: The Battle of Wizards, is a game about lobbing spells at opposing mages, with an emphasis on summoning creatures to do turn-based battle. The game has been out of Early Access for a while but an update has just landed and it’s a big one: a new (optional) Law mode has been added, which removes most of the probability checks that are central to combat and casting.

Read the rest of this entry »

Phoenix Point: Every Detail Of The X-COM Creator’s Return To The Genre

One of the most exciting games in Los Angeles this week won’t be featured at press conferences or on the showfloor. Phoenix Point [official site] is the new tactical-strategy hybrid from Julian Gollop, the creator of the original X-COM, and we met yesterday to discuss its procedurally generated alien threats, simulated human factions and much more. Here’s the world’s first in-depth look at the game.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ooooh: X-COM Creator Julian Gollop Announces New ‘Turn-Based Tactical Combat Game’

Yer actual breaking news (by which I mean I currently have few details but wanted to inform you as soon as possible because I am very excited). Julian Gollop, legendary co-creator of the X-COM series, plus Laser Squad, Chaos and most recently Chaos Reborn, just revealed the next game from his Snapshot Studios. We only have a name, Phoenix Point, and the following description:

“Turn based tactical combat – world based strategy.”

Please tell me that means what I think it means. Is Mister X-COM doing a new, if unofficial, X-COM? Have approximately 37 Christmases all come at once?
Read the rest of this entry »

Julian “Mr X-COM” Gollop’s Chaos Reborn Is Out Now

Just a PSA, as we already mentioned this a few weeks before it happened: Chaos Reborn [official site], the successfully Kickstarted remake of/sequel to classic Spectrum wizard-bothering strategy/bluffing game Chaos, has left Early Access and gotten a full Steam release. Much as I can’t help but include “OMG made by the guy who invented X-COM” excitements in any coverage, I really should stress that Chaos Reborn is a clever and tense game of magical battles in its own right.

Read the rest of this entry »

X-COM Creator’s Chaos Reborn Is Born This Month

I’ve started to feel a degree of sadness when games leave early access and embrace a full release. It’s like watching your kids get older and go to college – there’s that point where, one day, their growing up is done. You know who they’re going to be. There’s pride, sure, but all the what-ifs are over and done with. Julian Gollop’s turn-based wizard-battler Chaos Reborn [official site] (currently on Steam Early Access), for instance, is no longer a great unknown – the X-COM co-creator’s latest (and first independent) game will be released on Steam at the end of the month. It’s not that its journey is over, but the guessing and hoping stage is. That great question which has floated around PC parts for years – what would it be like if Julian Gollop made a new game? – is answered.
Read the rest of this entry »

Chaos Reborn: Singleplayer Campaign Impressions

Slow and steady wins the race. No wild promises, but plenty of apparently practical plans for the future, has long been X-COM creator Julian Gollop’s approach with his Kickstarted comeback, Chaos Reborn [official site] (currently on Steam Early Access). While it sadly doesn’t seem to attract quite the same adulation/scrutiny as other returning 90s devs’ crowdfunded career reboots, what it has done is reliably get on with things, meeting its initial promises one-by-one. So here we are with the first components of its singleplayer mode – perhaps the strategic wizard-battler’s biggest break with its multiplayer-only, Spectrum ZX past. On the one hand, that’s probably what X-COM fans want more than anything (other than a true blue X-COM follow-up, of course). On the other hand, what is chess without a human opponent? All depends on structure – how can a series of disconnected, turn-based battles with random spells be made into a meaningful campaign?

Important note – I’ve chosen not to resummarise Chaos Reborn yet again, so please read this or this if you’re entirely unfamiliar with it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Staff Changes: Gollop’s Chaos Reborn Gets A Metagame

the pride of RPS

My word, check you out, Chaos Reborn [official site]. Don’t you get bigger and prettier every time I take a look at you? I quite like the stark, neon outlines it used to depict its assorted bestiary back in the old prototype, then I liked the later move to Fantasy-Tron-With-Figurines, and now I like the ornate, characterful land its latest Early Access update presents even more. X-COM co-creator Julian Gollop’s Chaos Reborn always felt like a boardgame in videogame’s clothing, but its tailor has done so fine a job this time that it’s increasingly hard to see the boardgame beneath it all. Also new as of this update is a whole lot more equipment stuff, so you can unlock customise your wizard as you play. In other words, the metagame has begun.
Read the rest of this entry »

Impressions: Chaos Reborn

In the fag-end of 2014 I managed to have a chat with X-COM creator Julian Gollop about the (early access) release version of his new game Chaos Reborn, but as the many demands of a festive season hosted at home hurtled towards me I flat-out ran out of time to give the game itself more than a cursory look. Now that I no longer need worry about which brand of cranberry sauce is best, putting tinsel high enough that a toddler can’t hang herself on it and whether those vacuum-packed chestnuts are a substitute for fresh ones, I’ve been able to put good time into Gollop’s remake of classic Spectrum turn-based strategy game Chaos. Here’s what I made of it.
Read the rest of this entry »

Whatever Happened To X-COM’s Julian Gollop?

Well, he eventually rebooted and remade war of wizards Spectrum classic Chaos Reborn, which I’ve had a lot of fun with over the last few days, and which took to Steam Early Access yesterday. You can read more about that here. But what happened to the co-creator of X-COM, Laser Squad, Magic and Mayhem, Rebelstar and more over the last ten years or so? While so many long-standing developers have seen their stars rise and rise, Julian Gollop seemed to fall out of sight. In this concluding part of my big interview with him, we talk about where he’s been, why he turned to Kickstarter for his comeback, how he was doing Early Access long before it ever existed, his thoughts on latter-day X-COMlikes such as Xenonauts, Invisible Inc and Mordheim, and the pressing question of whether we’ll ever see a new X-COM or Laser Squad=style game with him at the helm.
Read the rest of this entry »

Gollop: Own X-COM “Hopeless Cause” After Firaxis Game

X-COM creator Julian Gollop did have plans for his own new version of the legendary strategy game, but abandoned them in the wake of 2K’s well-received XCOM. “I seriously considered that before Firaxis announced their XCOM,” he told RPS in an interview published today, “but of course once they announced it I thought, well it’d be a hopeless cause because it’s just not going to get the same traction.”

“I may have been completely wrong in thinking this by the way,” he added. When I suggested that he’d probably have succeeded nonetheless, he added that “I probably could have. I don’t know.” The Laser Squad and Chaos developer, who yesterday released wizard-battling strategy remake/sequel Chaos Reborn on Steam Early Access, hasn’t entirely ruled out an X-comeback of his own, however. “Well, we’ll see. Got to finish Chaos first.”

I think it’s on all of us reading this to let him know below that that a new Gollop-made XCOMlike is far, far from a hopeless cause, eh? Also below: the game Julian Gollop almost made instead of Chaos Reborn.

Read the rest of this entry »

Julian Gollop On Kickstarting Chaos: “It Was A Bit Scary”

Today, X-COM creator Julian Gollop’s new game Chaos Reborn launches on Steam Early Access. The Laser Squad dev ran a successful Kickstarter for the remake of his ZX Spectrum wizard-battler earlier this year, but he was by no means convinced that he’d pull it off. “It was a bit scary,” he told me in an interview last week (and available in full here). “The biggest problem with Kickstarter is the fact that you are making promises based on not very much.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: X-COM’s Julian Gollop On Remaking Chaos

After some time out of sight, X-COM creator Julian Gollop returned earlier this year, with a successful Kickstarter for a remake of/spiritual sequel to his beloved Spectrum strategy game, Chaos. (That being the one where wizards battle each other to death, with the help of various summoned beasties). An early, multiplayer-only version of Chaos Reborn takes to Steam Early Access today, so ahead of that I had a chat with the Laser Squad dev about how it all happened, what’s changed, how much of a purist he is about his old work, his thoughts on Kickstarter and what’s planned for the forthcoming singleplayer mode.
Read the rest of this entry »

Hooray-os: Chaos Reborn Kickstarter Succeeds

I wonder how Bob Ross would feel about those trees

We live in a world where X-Com creator Julian Gollop can put a project onto Kickstarter and have its confetti parade success or outright failure come right down to the wire. I’m not sure how to feel about that. In the end, though, Chaos Reborn’s crowdfunding drive succeeded and then some, which I suppose means the world and I are cool. For now.

Read the rest of this entry »

Be Like Levine: Chaos Reborn Prototype Released

Statistically speaking, you are probably not Ken Levine. That’s fine. I’m not him, either. And neither is Graham. But thanks to all the silicon and electricity and stuff, you can at least be a bit like him. One of the ways in which he’s been special recently is in the role of cheerleader for the Chaos Reborn Kickstarter, where he’s been championing Julian Gollop’s return. He has already played (or should that now be ‘Let’s Played’?) the hexy beast, and now you can too. Head here to grab the time-limited prototype of the strategic wiz thing, and bring some friends.

Read the rest of this entry »

Magic Gathers To A Close: Chaos Reborn’s Nearly There

13 days and $65,000 to go – that’s the scores on the doors for X-COM creator Julian Gollop’s Kickstarted Chaos remake (which I previewed here). Not a bad situation for the turn-based wizard battler to be in, given it’s already $115k to the good, but a photo finish looks likely. The game’s also up on Greenlight now, so you know what to do if you’re excited about it.

There’ve been eight updates since the project went live a few weeks back, and it’s heartening to see that they primarily focus on explaining features and concepts. Also one of them has a unicorn with a sword for a horn, so big bonus points for that.
Read the rest of this entry »

Gollop Returns: X-COM Creator’s Chaos Reborn, Played

Chaos Reborn is the next game from Julian Gollop, lead creator of the original X-COM: UFO Defense – the greatest videogame of all time. This is a remake of and sequel to Gollop’s earlier, magical duelling game Chaos: The Battle of Wizards. It It takes to Kickstarter today, but unlike other nostalgia-led projects, it’s been in active development for some time already. I played a prototype recently, and I have this to say about it.
Read the rest of this entry »

Chaos Reborn To Birth Multiplayer Demo “Soon”


The old people who remember and love Chaos will doubtless soon be pointing younger folk at Chaos Reborn, which is to be a remake of the original by that genius Julian Gollop (who once gave me an unopened copy of Laser Squad for the C64, which I still treasure, despite not having seen a functional Commodore 64 in perhaps twenty years). The muscular news sentinels of US Gamer spotted that Mr Gollop has been writing about progress on a multiplayer demo of the new game, with an estimate of “soon” for its delivery unto the internet. Soon! That’s means it might just be closer than ages away.